September 24, 2023

SAN DIEGO — Rickettsia is unfold by ticks, lice, fleas, and mites present in animals comparable to canines. It lives in folks’s bloodstream, slowly damaging their pores and skin, lungs, mind and different organs till they die.

Seventeen folks within the state of Baja California — together with some youngsters — have died from the illness this yr, in response to the state’s well being secretary Adrián Medina Amarillas. Eight of the deaths have taken place in Tijuana.

Because the climate heats up, extra instances are anticipated since most Rickettsia deaths happen through the summer season. Medina Amarillas is asking folks to watch out round canines that is likely to be carrying ticks.

A male grownup canine tick, or Dermacentor variabilis, crawls over a penny. Canine ticks can transmit illnesses comparable to rickettsia. Credit score: NIAID (Picture by: IMAGE POINT FR/NIH/NIAID/BSIP //Common Photos Group by way of Getty Photos)

“It’s vital to take care of clear residing areas comparable to patios and ensure to manage your canines,” he stated. “Don’t allow them to out on the streets to roam round and don’t let youngsters, who’ve a higher threat, play with stray canines.”

The well being secretary can also be advising folks to hunt medical consideration if they think they had been bitten by a tick.

In line with the Nationwide Institute of Well being, Rickettsia’s widespread signs develop inside one week of an infection and embrace fever, headache, malaise, nausea, or vomiting. 

And it is strongly recommended that medicine be administered throughout the first week of an infection because the illness can linger for months if an individual just isn’t handled or receives therapy immediately.

In Tijuana, research present eight out of 10 canines — each avenue and domesticated canines — have ticks that carry the rickettsia micro organism, in response to Juan Esteban Domínguez. He’s a veterinarian in addition to Tijuana’s director of Animal Management.

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Rickettsia has nothing to do with rickets, which is a deficiency illness ensuing from lack of vitamin D.